Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2018 awarded the best ideas



The 9th edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge, an idea contest promoted by Fraunhofer AICOS to motivate and award research of practical utility developed within Portuguese Higher Education institutions, ended today.


With presentations covering several topics, from health to technologies applied to industry, there were several innovative ideas on display this Wednesday (25th of October), at the Closing Event of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2018. The event marked the closure of the 9th edition of the contest, where some of the best ideas born in Portuguese Higher Education institutions were publicly presented.

After the six finalists’ presentations, the jury deliberated and announced the winners of this year’s edition. In the MSc category, the 1st place winner was Ana Correia (Universidade do Minho), whose idea aims to create a functional electrical stimulation wearable system to support Drop Foot correction, a walking disorder characterized by an inability to raise the foot and toes.

The 2nd place in the MSc category went to Carolina Gouveia (Universidade de Aveiro), whose idea is based on a Bio-radar system to capture the vital signs in a viable way by only using radio waves to measure the distance between the antennae and the patient's thoracic cage. The 3rd place went to José Dias (Universidade do Minho) who proposes a new generation of electrochemical lithium-ion batteries, more efficient, sustainable and with a higher recyclable factor.

In the PhD category, the 1st place winner was Sanaz Asgarifar (Universidade do Algarve), who proposes a novel treatment that, through bioelectronic components, aims to achieve the treatment of Glioblastoma Brain Tumour, the most common brain cancer in adults and children.

The 2nd place in the PhD category was awarded to Rodrigo Bruno (Instituto Superior Técnico da Universidadede Lisboa), who is developing a Java Virtual Machine, named novaVM, which arises in response to the current need for processing large amounts of data, BIG DATA, and allows the reduction of application breaks by 68% and the reduction of the cost of hosting in the cloud in approximately 30%. Filipa Ferrada (UniversidadeNova de Lisboa), and her modelling framework that conceptualizes the notion of ’emotion’ in collaborative business networks, suggesting a sustained approach in dynamic systems that allows solving management and decision issues, won the 3rd place.

This was the 9th edition of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge. Every year, Fraunhofer AICOS boosts new scientific knowledge by awarding the students and researchers in Portuguese Higher Education institutions that present the best ideas, based on thesis concluded and graded in the current or previous academic year. The contest welcomes ideas born out of MSc or PhD thesis, in the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Multimedia and other related sciences. This edition received 55 applications. The applicants came from 24 different Higher Education institutions, from all over mainland Portugal, as well the islands of Madeira and Azores.

The ideas submitted were assessed according to criteria such as innovation, technical feasibility, practical applicability, and market potential. The ideas were assessed by a jury composed by two members of Fraunhofer AICOS, namely Liliana Ferreira (Director) and Ana Correia Barros (Head of the Human-Centred Design Group), one member of Fraunhofer IESE, Pablo Antonino (Department Head of the Embedded Software Engineering Department), as well as a panel of invited experts that included João José Pinto Ferreira (Dean Master of Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Faculty of Engineering of the Universidade do Porto), Marlos Silva (Area Manager for Innovation & Future Tech – SONAE), Nuno Carvalho (CEO of Healthcare City), Nuno Vargas (Innovation Lead for Products and Engagement Consultant – Media Investment Fund) and Pedro Aguiar (CEO of Ah Business).



The Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge is an initiative promoted under the scope of the project ‘CTFhP – Collective Transfer FhP’, co-funded by ‘NORTE 2020 – Programa Operacional Regional do Norte’, ‘Portugal 2020’ and the European Union through the ‘FEDER – Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional’.